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How to Easily Open Links in a New Tab with WordPress

How to Easily Open Links in a New Tab with WordPress

Links are not only clickable objects that lead us from one website page to another, or from one website to other, but a powerful tool for better ranking on Google. They can appear in three different forms – like texts, images, or buttons. The main reason for adding links in WordPress is they provide website visitors with more dynamic experience, and navigation flow. They also are a great way of including second or third party resources into your website content. The links are classified based on their destination. In other words, links can lead users to a new page on the same site or a completely different website. This means there are two main types of links. Firstly, there are internal links that link the pages within the same website. Secondly, there are external or inbound links that, in short, come from other websites or different domain names. Now, let’s see what makes each link type specific and how to open link in a new tab with WordPress.

What Is the Difference Between External and Internal Links?

As their name suggests, external links lead to any domain other than the domain the link exists on. In other words, every link from another website that links to you is an external link to your site. These links are also known as inbound links. On the other hand, if your content includes links to another website, this is as well a type of external links. When it comes to SEO we all know that external links play an important role. Each time some website links to your page, it increases your content’s credibility. The more links your page gets, the more chance you get to improve your ranking. But the quantity of links that lead from your website to different sites and vice versa isn’t enough. Since Google evaluates the quality of the links, you should pay special attention to both the website’s relevance & niche. For example, if you run a hairdresser website and link to restaurant websites, the search engine will identify these links as irrelevant, or even worse as fake.

On the other hand, internal links lead users from one page on a domain to a new page on the same domain or subdomain. The most important benefit of internal links is navigation. Thanks to them, users easily navigate a website. To illustrate the differences between external and internal links, we prepared some examples:

  1. Internal link – leads you to the content within the same domain.
  2. External link – links that point to a separate domain.

As you see the first link leads to another article on our site, and the second takes you to wordpress.org. While internal link opens in the same tab it’s recommended to set external link opening in a new tab. Opening the external links in a new tab allows users to move from your article to the new site and content without leaving your site. After they open a link in a new tab, many users continue to explore the new site, without the desire to go back to your page. But this doesn’t have the case every time.

If users do want to go back to the source page, it’s easy to do because external links will keep the tab open until the user manually closes it. This basically means the user doesn’t have to click the back button multiple times and wait for the source page to reload. This can be easily done just by clicking the tab. On the contrary, it’s better to open internal links in the same tab. As the user stays on your website, the same tab will help them navigate your website better.

How to Open External Links in a New Tab With WordPress?

Classic Editor

As we already said, opening external links in a new tab can have many benefits for your website. Firstly, this how users don’t have to leave your website to visit the link. This, furthermore, results in better user experience. As your web page isn’t lost, users can continue browsing your website with a single click. To allow opening external links in a new tab with WordPress, go to post editor and find the Link Options. Insert the desired link into the empty field.

Classic Editor Open Links in a New Tab

Now, check Open link in a new tab and click Update, and you’re ready to go. Your link will now open in the new tab.

Open Links in a New Tab

In a case, you have already input the links, and you want to allow opening in a new tab, there are two ways to do this. Go to the text editor and find your link. Now, add the attribute target=”_blank” at the end of that link. Simple as that.

Link in a New Tab

Here is an example.

WordPress Target Blank

Another option is to edit the existing link. After you click on the link the option for editing will appear together with the field where you can check the field for opening in the new tab.

Edit WordPress Link

Gutenberg Editor

This editor also has an option for opening external links in a new tab, but beginners may struggle to find it. It’s hidden behind the button. After you choose a blog post or a page where you want to add an external link, select the text that will be linked and click on the insert link button.

Gutenberg Open Link in New Tab

Open External Links in New Tab With WordPress Plugin

If you don’t have time to manually manage opening external links in a new tab every time, you can simply install a plugin that automatically opens external links in a new window. In case you decide to deactivate the plugin, the external links will open in the same window.

Our recommendation is Open external links in a new window plugin.

Open Link in New Tab Plugin

The great thing about this plugin is it allows you to further manage links. For example, you can exclude some of the links from opening in a new window. Go to the plugin Settings.

Exernal Link WordPress

Now click External links field. Find Force links to open in a new window if they match field. Input the internal links that currently open in the same tab but you want to open in the new tab. Next, go to Ignore links, and do not open them in a new window, if they match field. Here, insert the external links that open in the new tab so they are opened in the same window after you save changes. Click on Save changes.

Exernal Link WordPress Plugin

If you want to exclude a specific link, for example https://www.youtube.com have in mind that all the other links that start with the same characters as this link will be opened in the same window, not just that precise link.

Open WordPress Navigation Links in a New Tab

In some cases, you may want to allow your visitors to open links from the menu in a new tab. To do this go to Appearance > Menus.

Wordpress Menu Open Link in New Tab

You can check Open link in a new tab for each menu field separately.

WordPress Menu Link Open in New Tab

If for some reason, you don’t see this option, navigate to the right corner find Screen Options and mark Link Target.

WordPress Menu Custom Link Open in New Tab

Bottom Line

It’s hard to imagine a web page without links that lead to the same page or to a completely new website domain. This means both external and internal links have an important place in organizing website’s navigation, content and boosting search engine optimization. Having this all in mind is good to know how to open links in a new tab with WordPress. It’s easy, fast and very practical for the user experience on your website.


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Comments (2)

  • Peggy

    Hi Biljana,
    is there a way to force links of embedded content (like a wordpress embed of someone elses post) to open in new tab or window? I’d rather not use a plugin but wonder if there is a hook which could be used to achieve that.


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